Back in the XIX century, Modeltown Development Corporation, under William T. Love, planned to construct a power canal that would connect the upper and lower levels of the Niagara River as well as open business opportunities. After securing funding support, the canal was started in 1884. Before the completion of the canal, the United States fell in to an economic depression that halted funding sources. The loss of funding and the loss of potential business support led to the down fall of Love's Company leaving only a partially dug canal left. In the 1920's the canal was bought by Hooker Chemical Company and used as a site for chemical and municipal disposal for several chemical companies and the City of Niagara Falls. This site was used as a disposal site until 1953, when it was bought by the local community and completely covered with dirt. In the late 1950's this land became the new site of over 100 homes and an elementary school. In the late 1970s, after several years of high precipitation, the chemical waste began making its way to the surface causing terrible odors and oozing waste. On August 2, 1978, Lois Gibbs, a local mother who called an election to head the Love Canal Homeowners' Association, began to rally homeowners. There was severe pollution by dioxins, which lead to grave health effects especially the high percentages of birth defects in the Love Canal area. This required all residents to be vacated and the risks to be mitigated, however the health and environmental effects had already affected much of the communities residents.
Clean-up was done by the EPA and the site was removed from the Superfund list in 2004 and determined to be usable land again. Homes near the previously evacuated area are now being bought and lived in.
Though Love Canal was officially removed from the National Priorities List (NPL) in 2004, the site is still subject to maintenance and monitoring activities (e.g. landfill cap inspections, annual groundwater monitoring). However, new residents are dealing with the same chemicals that wreaked havoc decades ago. In lawsuits, residents claim they were swayed to purchase homes in the area with low property values and assurances that waste was contained. Moreover, many residents are unable to move out of the site due to financial constraints. Spokespeople for the US EPA, NYSDEC, and city of Niagara Falls continue to claim that monitoring and containment efforts are effective.